Day 79: Lady Augusta Gregory: Seers and Healers

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

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One of my favorite books to bring out on a rainy day is Lady Augusta Gregory’s “Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland” which details accounts of her travels searching for Irish folkways. My favorite chapter is on “Seers and Healers” and takes a look at the traditional Irish wise women and cunning folk. People like Biddy Early are talked about in great detail, as well as other famous healers. One of the reasons this interests me so much is because these folkways and beliefs had such a great influence upon Ozark/Appalachian folk belief. We can clearly see in the person of the Ozark Power or Yarb Doctor the ancestor that was the cunning folk. I’m including the first few paragraphs of this chapter below, and since it is a long section I’ll give a link to the rest of the work.

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In talking to the people I often heard the…

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